This past week, British news outlet The Independent have demonstrated that the mainstream media is beginning to offer balanced and fair coverage of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Over the past eight years, mainstream media has provided an unbalanced coverage of Bitcoin, often misrepresenting its origin, purpose and structure. Some mainstream media outlets and “leading” economists have related Bitcoin to the “darknet operators” and harshly criticized the absence of a third party mediator or network administrator within Bitcoin.

Since mid-2016, mainstream media coverage on Bitcoin began to alter. An increasing number of companies including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and CNBC have begun to provide extensive and regular coverage on Bitcoin, reporting a fact-based analysis of the Bitcoin industry, Bitcoin price and companies.

The Independent sets an example

The Independent, a British media company currently being operated by Russian entrepreneurs, have been one of the few mainstream media companies that have been offering fair coverage on Bitcoin. Recently, The Independent published a paper to explain the basics as well as the intricate aspects of Bitcoin to its audience.

While The Independent described Bitcoin as a “mysterious” currency throughout its paper, it emphasized important technological and financial aspects of Bitcoin that must be considered by the general public. This includes its structure, decentralized nature, purpose, and policies.

One of the sections read:

“First, Bitcoin is digital. It can only be created, held and traded electronically. Second, Bitcoin is decentralized. It is not controlled by a central authority, such as a national bank. This means there is little risk that Bitcoin users’ wallets will be impacted by a change in monetary policy or that their savings will be taken away completely.”

The Independent’s careful attention to details such as “little risk” of “change in monetary policy” is demonstrated throughout the article, in which the author John Wadsworth thoroughly explains necessary elements of Bitcoin, including anonymity.

The use of the phrase “little risk” is an accurate description of the potential change in monetary policy in Bitcoin as a hard fork could lead to a change in the monetary policy of Bitcoin. While the possibility of this happening is close to none because there exists a probability of the monetary policy being altered by majority consensus, Wadsworth emphasized this.

One of the more interesting sections of The Independent's article on Bitcoin is that it accurately explains the anonymity of Bitcoin, which the general public still struggles to understand. One major reason which leads the public to believe Bitcoin is a type of criminal or illicit token used in the dark web is its anonymity.

The Independent emphasizes that Bitcoin is not anonymous at the moment, however, this could change as well if two-layer solutions such as TumbleBit or MimbleWimble is introduced in the future.

Importance of fair and unbiased mainstream media coverage

Bitcoin is still far from being recognized by the general public and the mainstream finance industry. For billions of potential users to fully understand the purpose, structure and the vision of Bitcoin, mainstream media companies must begin to offer fair and unbiased coverage on Bitcoin.

Already, many companies such as CNBC, WSJ and Bloomberg are providing regular coverage on Bitcoin to ensure that the general public is well-educated about Bitcoin.